Samar Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento said the scheme would be ready for computerized simulation before the end of the month and would be presented soon after to President Duterte for his approval.
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House: New EDSA bus scheme set in 6 months
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - September 20, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The proposed centralized and synchronized bus dispatch system for EDSA will be rolled out within the next six months, according to the chairman of the committee on transportation of the House of Representatives.

Samar Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum on Wednesday that his committee, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) are now going into the nitty-gritty of the new scheme designed to ease traffic congestion on Metro Manila’s main highway.

He said the scheme would be ready for computerized simulation before the end of the month and would be presented soon after to President Duterte for his approval.

“This system will rationalize the flow of buses and put a stop to this practice of overtaking, swerving and speeding among bus drivers. They will load and unload passengers strictly at designated stops one at a time,” he said.

Sarmiento, a civil engineer, said that under the plan, the innermost lane of the highway would serve as an “express bus lane” that can be accessed through stations used by the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3. 

“Like a carousel, the express bus lane will just circle around EDSA, duplicating the route of the MRT. People who use the MRT can have the option to ride the bus, which will only load and unload passengers in a synchronized manner at MRT stations so they are basically an extension of the MRT,” he said.

He said no traffic congestion would be created because the inner lanes from Taft Avenue in Pasay City to North Avenue in Quezon City and vice versa would be enclosed and designated as express bus lanes.

He added that the three lanes in the middle of EDSA would be dedicated to all types of private vehicles, subject to the existing vehicle reduction programs like the number coding scheme. 

Private cars would be only allowed to use the outer lane when turning into an intersection, Sarmiento said.

He said the outer lane of EDSA or the yellow lane would be used as a dedicated city bus lane, which will also adopt a centralized and synchronized dispatch system. 

“Dedicated bus stops would be established one kilometer apart. Loading and unloading of passengers will be strictly implemented,” he said. 

He said while express bus lanes would cater to passengers who also use the MRT, city bus lanes would extend up to the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) in the south and the Valenzuela Integrated Bus Terminal (VIBT) in the north.

“We are proposing this system to eradicate the kanya-kanya (each to his own) system of buses, which compete with each other, creating chaos through overtaking, speeding, and overstaying at intersections and stops,” he stressed.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade earlier supported the proposed centralized and synchronized bus dispatch system for EDSA.

 Sarmiento said if the plan works, car owners might consider using public transportation instead of their vehicles.

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EDSA METRO MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
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